On Wednesday I had my “black box” exam at school, basically signalling the end of school for me, even though I do have 5 more days.
I’m sure I’ll go into it in a later post, but I essentially didn’t give a shit (at least partially) about some bullshit test where you’re given totally random ingredients and judged. Most of school has not been about creativity, so why judge us on that in the end? As such, I ended up getting a pretty low score, though according to the chef I “shouldn’t be too hard on myself” since I still scored in the top 3rd of all time results. Whatever. Who gives a fuck?
As for what I received to cook, I got a half rack of lamb, carrots, parsnips and basmati rice. Within the first five minutes I cut my finger on my boning knife while I was trying to clean up the lamb – it had been a while since I’ve cut myself so I guess I was due.
There are further limitations as well in that I had to exhibit three knife cuts from a pretty limited list (I chose brunoise, julienne and paysanne) and three cooking techniques (here I used pan roast, blanch/shock, pilaf & deep fry).
The whole process was pretty uninspiring for me. Maybe it’s just because it’s near the end, maybe it’s all the beaurocratic bullshit of school, or maybe it’s because I’m working full time and am just ready to get it over with so I can sleep.
After two days off of work I returned Thursday to a party for 70 for which we prepared several different plates of passed hors d’oeuvres. If not for that party work would have been slow. Last night being Good Friday wasn’t much better, though I guess it was steady for a while.
No one knows what to expect tonight, but I may not even work the line so one of our interns can get some experience, which means I’ll possibly get to leave at 11 or so (I really hope so since tomorrow the restaurant is closed). We’ll probably get hit hard though and I’ll have to work the line to midnight or so, so I shouldn’t get too excited.
Yesterday morning at home I made some cardamom ice cream and baked custards (there was no school yesterday). Both came out reasonably well. I may continue exploring various “exotic” flavors of homemade ice cream. I wonder if cumin could work.